Maryland continues to limit the abilities of the police as cannabis legalization remains a struggle. Last year, the court ruled that the observation of 10 grams or less of cannabis is not enough for a search. Now, the same court has added the smell of cannabis to that list.
“The odor of marijuana, without more, does not provide law enforcement officers with the requisite probable cause to arrest and perform a warrantless search of that person incident to the arrest,” reads the court documents in a unanimous ruling, authored by Chief Judge Mary Ellen Barbera.
Steps Toward Legalization
Although cannabis is still illegal throughout Maryland, the state decriminalized the possession of 10g or less in 2014. The state then began to limit the power of police last year when the highest court introduced new policies. First, the court ruled that an officer cannot use the possession of 10g or less of cannabis as a reason for a search and arrest. This ruling was made to agree with decriminalization from 2014.
Then this month, the court again ruled to limit the police in regards to cannabis. Authorities can no longer use the smell of cannabis as a reason to search any person. Both of these rulings not only limit police power, but it also ensures greater protection for Maryland citizens.